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O-Zone: Teamwork

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Vince from Farmington, NM

I'm optimistic that Minshew as a newer quarterback is seeing new defensive looks each week designed to be confusing and limit his effectiveness. That's what good defensive coordinators should do. Eventually, I can see Minshew recognizing these nuances and adjusting at the line much more effectively. What I don't see is evolving of the coaching staff utilizing strengths as much as Week One. It has the feeling that we are a one-trick pony and opponents are able to neutralize too easily. I am hoping for more of a light-bulb moment to occur with the coaching and management for direction, strategy and execution. Captioning what we didn't do week after week can't inspire our team much, even mentioning the bright spots in a loss. What will it take to throw the switch for a light-bulb moment?

I know people tire of me writing that it's always coaching in the NFL but I also know am endlessly amazed by the incredible, mega-reaching emphasis people put on … coaching in the NFL. Yes, it matters. Yes, there is a difference between good and bad coaching. But it's simply not the explanation for everything that happens on the field and the best coaching won't make up for lack of talent. How many coaches must fail and be fired by one team and succeed wildly elsewhere before people realize this? Many of the best coaches in NFL history have been fired. New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, the most successful coach of his era, was fired. He's far from alone. Here's what Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will do this week: Design a game plan based on what quarterback Gardner Minshew II and the team's offensive players do well – and based on what the Houston Texans don't do as well. What Minshew does within that game plan will depend on what he sees and what throws he believes he can make effectively. Over the last couple of weeks, he at times has seemed limited in what he sees and he has seemed to leave the pocket at times early when there are throws he could have and should have made downfield. Are the coaches utilizing his strengths well enough? I don't know. I do know that sometimes players must tackle, rush and cover on defense and beat the opponent across from them. I also know that players on offense sometimes must block, make throws, run and beat defenders across from them. The Jaguars haven't done that very well on defense a lot this season. They haven't done it well enough on offense the last couple of weeks. I don't know if the defense will get much better. I think the offense has some potential, and I think much will depend on how the quarterback plays. For the record, I also don't know much about light bulbs. I can screw one in. With help.

Rob from Fleming Island, FL

John I know appearance isn't necessarily reality, but CJH appears to not be all in. Do you get any indication he is already a disgruntled player just biding his time to jump ship?

I don't get that impression. But if this concerns you, think of it this way: Jaguars cornerback CJ Henderson has played four NFL games and is under contract for four years. He also has yet to remotely prove himself as a big-time NFL player. If he's biding his time or disgruntled, he needs to be focused on playing at a high level. But he's not biding his time. So, this is really a non-issue.

Brad from Yankton, SD

Hey, KOAF: Since rookie running back James Robinson was not drafted, can the Jaguars sign him to a long-term contract at any time?

No. They must wait until after the 2021 season.

Tony from St. Louis, MO

We knew the defense was an issue and pass rush would be a concern when they started giving players away. What took you so long to realize it?

I expected the pass rush to be a concern when the Jaguars traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue during training camp. I admittedly didn't expect it to be this much of a concern. I suppose it's just another example of the readers and e-mailers being smarter than me. Add it to the list.

Rob from Fleming Island, FL

John. Why is center Brandon Linder considered to be the best O-lineman when he can never stay healthy? I don't see the drop-off with Tyler Shatley. Time to save more money.

Linder is considered one of the Jaguars' best offensive linemen because he's one of their best offensive linemen. Whether you can see it or not, there's a drop-off when he doesn't play. The Jaguars aren't going to release Linder.

Tanking for Tottenham

John: In the same column, you stated that the Jaguars are managed "very well" and that there is not a lot of evidence the team is poorly coached. Six of the past seven seasons have included double-digit losses, and the team is well on its way to extend the misery this year. How can a team that is a constant loser be managed "very well?" Hiring an incompetent GM barely out of his 20s was not good management. If you consider Shad Khan's cash grab in trying to move two games to London, then I guess the team is managed very well. No, the team is awful. Mr. Khan's investment is the only thing that is managed very well.

Being managed well in the NFL does not automatically mean winning. When I said the Jaguars were managed well, I didn't mean the team's selection of players or on-field results. I was talking about the business side and overall management of the organization. On those fronts, the Jaguars are "managed" well. They haven't "won well" – and because of that, I don't expect fans to agree. That's OK. People don't have to agree on everything.

Marc from Oceanway

I think some readers (me and that other person who knows who they are) may have a different interpretation of the word "fan." The other reader may think being a fan is simply wanting a team to win, while others interpret a fan as living or dying depending on the outcome of a game. John, we know you don't lose any sleep when the Jaguars lose. However, would you prefer that the Jaguars win? Would you rather the Jaguars win the Super Bowl or another team?

Of course I would prefer the Jaguars win. Winning is better than losing. I love winning, man. I love winning. You what I'm saying? It's like better than losing?

Jim from Jacksonville

How many punts have opposing teams done so far?


Duncan from OK

Question: Great and powerful "O", Are you able to decipher Shad Khan when he says losing is not acceptable every January since 2018 and just the other day? He said he was disappointed in losing but nothing has changed except the team is getting depleted of talent. He can't be driving away fans to move the team to London because of COVID-19 concerns, and fans can't fill the stadium anyways. What gives? Houston made a change but Jacksonville is disappointed? At this point, opposing QBs are lining up to have career days against this Jaguars defense. It's time for the team culture to emerge and correct the ship, unless losing is the culture of this organization.

Khan wants to win. Losing is not acceptable. But he doesn't necessarily believe that firing everyone is automatically the way to improve things. And remember: When people say "nothing has changed" about the Jaguars, that's categorically incorrect. Khan at the end of last season fired Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. I'm not sure why people fail to realize it, but Coughlin was in charge of football operations for three seasons. Firing him was not "doing nothing." It wasn't the complete housecleaning that many observers wanted after last season, but it most certainly was not "nothing."

William the Contemplator from Jacksonville

You wrote this morning that there is "just not any evidence" that the Jags are poorly coached. Since it is the job of the head coach to win games, wouldn't you consider a 12-24 record "evidence?"


Scott from Wichita, KS

In your "What We Learned" column from the Bengals loss you stated that they played the run OK until  Henderson and linebacker Myles Jack got injured because guys started jumping out of gaps. Why all of a sudden does that rear its ugly head again? Is it as simple as just staying in your gap? How many times can a coach say stay in your gap?

Getting out of gaps almost always will rear its head when talking about run defense. It's simple to say. It's simple to discuss. It's not as simple to execute.

Darren from Fort Worth, TX

I'm all in on Logan for GM.

It takes two, baby.